We actively and cautiously look out for your interests to reach your goals without delay. We often work on cases with an international component. International private law and international treaties are part of our daily activities.


Van Zuethem Advocaten stands for expertly and efficiently handled legal services. We assist companies that are active within the sectors of inland shipping, trade, ship building, road transport, storage and transhipment and their clients.

The working languages are Dutch, German and English.


As an entrepreneur you have to deal with staff and staff related matters. We will be glad to assist you in the area of labour law, including dismissal law and the drawing up of employment contracts.

What can we do for you? Liability, insurance & transport

If damage has occured, the question rises who is liable for it and to what extent damage is caused. One could think of liability due to collision damages, damages caused during loading and unloading and transport damage. In the case of extensive damage it is of great importance that the facts are established in a quick manner. The facts determine the strength of the legal position after all. Establishment of the facts in a quick and timely manner is a high priority for us. Therefore we are available 24/7. In the case of a collision we take witness statements and secure evidence if this is required. If necessary we will file a request for a preliminary expert report / a provisional examination of a witness with the judge. We know our way around the requests for global limitation of liability. For a ship owner it can be useful to make use of the Dutch option to limit their liability if damage has occured, since Dutch case law is especially favourable for ship owners, carriers and time charters. We research matters relating to insurance coverage for insurers and the insured. For a ship owner and/or carrier it can be of great importance that the damage is covered under the insurance.


A guarantee for your claim is never an unnecessary luxury.  Especially if the opposite party is a single ship company. In consultation with you we will take the appropriate measures at short notice. Seizing of ships is a daily occurrence, but of course we can also assist you in the seizing of other assets.


We are able to advise you when entering into contracts and to draw them up for you, in the German and English language too, conform your wishes.  The same applies to terms & conditions. We have specific expertise in contracts relating to the purchase and selling, renovation and repair of inland vessels and pleasure yachts, charter agreements, employment contracts, settlement agreements, loan agreements, collateral agreements, rental agreements and agreements with an international character. Naturally we are also able to assist you during legal negotiations, whilst respecting your business relations. Our motto ‘’prevention is better than cure’’ is put into practice every day. In view of the fact that with a good and clear agreement many issues and proceedings can be prevented. We can also assist you in in the implementation of ship building and finance agreements, especially concerning the securement of the ownership and the registration of vessels. This saves you stress, uncertainty and money. If you are already in conflict with a party about an agreement, we would gladly provide you with our legal advice and, if needed, our counsel in court. We can also assist with debt collection.


We can assist in the establishment and/or dissolving of your entrepreneurial activities. We also provide guidance in case of bankruptcy and assistance in case of directors’ liability.


Furthermore, we are also specialised in pleasure yachts. We will be happy to provide advice about drawing up yacht building agreements. We can also provide assistance during negotiations and contracting. During this we can also assist in the registration or de-registration of your yacht,  the purchase and selling of your yacht and advise on liability risks.

Ship auctioning

Dutch execution law provides excellent opportunities for foreign banks to exploit a security interest. It is fast and the costs are manageable. Our circle of clients consists partly of banks. We are called in by clients for ship auctions throughout the Netherlands.

Customs law

We are also specialists when it comes to Customs law. These matters primarily concern additional assessments in response to controls by Dutch Customs on board of tanker vessels. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding additional assessments or when you are already in conflict with Dutch Customs.

Law of persons and family

Entrepreneurs can also become embroiled in a divorce. Good analysis of the marital agreements is a must during any divorce. This includes a thorough analysis of profitability when deciding upon a spousal support figure. You can come to us together for dissolving the marriage in a mutual agreement, but also on your own if you think you cannot decide upon a fair settlement together. This work includes drawing up parenting plans, divorce settlements and calculating child support. We will assist you not only in court, but also during interim proceedings and preliminary injunctions.


Our office is not affiliated with the Legal Aid Board and therefore we cannot represent you on the basis of provided legal aid.

Related fields of law

We understand related fields of law to be criminal law (only shipping related), security interests and the registration of vessels and companies. If needed we make use of our network.